1 Sept 2021

Drones to Deliver Vaccines?!?


In recent months, there was hype in the media about using drones – remote controlled small flying craft – to deliver vaccines. The banter got excited when a government agency invited drone operators to set up a pilot project for delivering medical supplies. It was promptly assumed drones would be to supply COVID19 vaccine to poorly connected rural areas, especially villages in remote mountain regions.

The premise for considering such a vaccine delivery mechanism inferred that many rural parts of India do not have suitable infrastructure and roads to enable last-mile connectivity. I was reached out, for opinion and guidance on how drones could safely bridge the gaps in cold-chain logistics for vaccines.

My immediate response was that the idea is inefficient at multiple levels and I saw no urgent purpose to use drones for delivering these vaccines.